Steps To Hit A PR In 4-Weeks
Many people join a gym to get bigger and stronger. It’s no secret that to gain muscle mass, you need to be constantly pushing your limits. If you aren’t hitting a PR every four weeks or so, it could be a sign of hitting a plateau.
If you’re reading this article, we’re assuming that you’re encountering an overhead ceiling. Following the steps mentioned below will help you break through the plateau and hit a PR in four weeks.
Set a Goal
Some people confuse PRs (personal record or personal best – PB) with 1RM (One Rep Max). Your personal best can be your 1RM but it can also be the maximum number of reps you can perform with a certain amount of weight.
For instance, your PR goal could be to bench 315lb for one rep or deadlift 225lb for eight reps. Hitting a PR isn’t something which happens randomly. You need to plan and prepare for it in advance.
Think of a PR attempt as an exam. You need to prepare for it on a timeline before you enter the examination hall. Setting a well-defined goal and prepping for it could help you in passing the exam.
Take It Easy On The PR Exercise
Contrary to mainstream thinking, you shouldn’t push too hard on the main exercise while prepping for the PR. Most of the times, weaker secondary (helping) muscles are what keep you from hitting a PR.
Performing more difficult versions of the lifts can help you gain strength for the main exercise. For example, if you want to hit a PR on the squats, performing front squats can prime you by reinforcing an aspect of technique which carries over to the main lift.
In the 4 weeks leading up to the PR attempt, you should perform the main exercise only as a warm-up lift so that your working muscles don’t get too tensed up. Doing other versions can dial in the technique and help you crush your PR.
When you’re looking to hit a PR, you generally want your muscles to be tighter and movements to be explosive. You can achieve tightness and explosiveness by using variations like pause squats, deficit deadlifts, etc.
Use Primer Sets
Primer sets are the sets which you perform before attempting the PR. The primer sets help you in getting in the groove and get your muscles warmed up and ready to go for the set you had been working so hard for for the last four weeks.
Pro tip – Don’t save the primer sets for the D-day. Perform the primer sets for the entire fourth week (without attempting the PR) so your muscles are used to lifting the weights, and you establish a mind-muscle connection.
Primer sets are an incredibly effective way of getting you in the zone for your PR. Performing the primer sets with great form and explosiveness can boost confidence and wake up high threshold motor units to get you ready for your working sets.